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Importance of a Talent Strategy and Workforce Optimization

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Apr 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Importance of a Talent Strategy and Workforce Optimization

A talent strategy is one of the most powerful tools in an HR leader's arsenal. An effective talent strategy will help a hospital survive and thrive by attracting and retaining top-tier employees. But a talent strategy will never be as effective as it could be unless you optimize your workforce. Below is a look at the critical role of workforce optimization, a necessary tool for a talent strategy to truly succeed.

Why is a talent strategy essential to a hospital's survival?

"A sound talent strategy focuses on hiring talented candidates and nurturing them into leaders capable of driving business success...When implemented effectively, it can empower organizations to make better decisions, manage change more effectively, and demonstrate more resilience in the face of challenges." - Darleen DeRosa, Business 2 Community

Hospitals across America are working overtime to contend with a physician shortage that appears to be worsening. In fact, analysts predict that America could experience a shortage of approximately 122,000 physicians by 2032. Some hospitals are responding to this shortage by using multiple staffing agencies in an effort to ensure high quality of care and maintain a satisfactory patient experience.

Proactive healthcare facilities are responding to this shortage by utilizing telehealth solutions and hiring locum tenens physicians to provide supplemental coverage. This solution helps to prevent staffing gaps while protecting profit margins. Hospitals that opt to work with a single trusted locum tenens agency and one that can also provide telehealth solutions and providers can accomplish business objectives while streamlining their staffing.

Utilizing a locum tenens agency to ensure continuity of care is a good example of a talent strategy designed to help a hospital survive and thrive. A sound talent strategy will ensure that contingent staff perform well and work toward achieving hospital goals. An effective strategy will also help identify and prevent inefficiencies and overspending - two common barriers that stand in the way of a hospital's success.  

What challenges can accompany a talent strategy?

Introducing a talent strategy is a proven way to attract high performing employees and boost retention. However, a talent strategy costs time and money. The amount of data to manage will also increase, which requires additional attention. Here is a look at some challenges that can accompany a talent strategy:

1) Disorganized Data

Some hospitals rely on multiple staffing agencies to attract top talent. Data from these agencies may arrive in multiple formats and be stored by the hospital in different locations. This lack of standardized or centralized data can make it difficult to track expenses and monitor results.

2) Overstaffing

When hospital data is not standardized or centralized, it can be hard to track utilization of contingent labor. Comparing the performance of staffing agencies also becomes a challenge. For example, you may have a difficult time identifying which staffing agencies are the most responsive or able to fill vacancies the fastest. 

3) Overspending

A lack of organized data can make it difficult to determine whether a hospital is overpaying staffing agencies compared to the national average. Also, it can be tricky to identify whether you are paying for any seasonal costs or hidden fees. 

How will a Workforce Optimization Review address these challenges?

A Workforce Optimization Review will put your hospital on the path to success by bringing transparency to your cost structures. Rather than simply reacting to staffing problems, transparent data allows administrators to proactively stabilize the hospital's workforce. Here are some specific ways a Workforce Optimization Review will help you overcome the challenges above: 

1) Promote data consolidation

Data that is standardized, organized, and consolidated in a single location can be a game-changer for your hospital. With just a few clicks, you can easily retrieve an accurate summary of your staffing activity. Here are some types of data that you can begin to consolidate with a Workforce Optimization Review:

  • Salary and promotion history
  • Turnover rates
  • Vacancy rates
  • Contingent labor spending
  • Total number of locum agencies used 

2) Provide answers to critical questions

Cost transparency and consolidated data open the door for administrators to answer key questions about staffing. Analysts can also easily compare data from all of the staffing agencies a hospital uses to determine which one performs the best on key metrics. Cost comparisons with the national average can also be made to identify overspending. 

3) Enable the use of HR analytics to predict staffing needs

Workforce optimization enables hospitals to make a smooth transition from being reactive to being proactive. Rather than spending more on costly last-minute contingent staff, hospitals can predict staffing gaps and begin stabilizing their workforce.

4) Support staffing strategies

Once you achieve transparency with your staffing costs, you can begin to see how workforce optimization supports staffing strategies. Here are some specific ways you can use your data to help your hospital grow and prosper:

  • Gain insight into employee morale and workplace satisfaction
  • Enhance patient satisfaction with care and other aspects of the patient experience
  • Optimize utilization of contingency staff
  • Identify trends and improve understanding of staff turnover rates

5) Enhance profit margins

Talent strategy without an optimized workforce may erode profit margins. But a Workforce Optimization Review will help you avoid leaving money on the table. And with predictive analytics and a proactive approach to staffing, you can help reduce the number of costly unplanned staffing expenses.

The Bottom Line 

An outstanding talent strategy is a must-have for hospitals seeking to maintain a competitive edge. But the long-term success of your talent strategy ultimately hinges on how well you optimize your workforce. Without a proven workforce optimization plan, you can end up overstaffing and overspending. As a result, the costs of your talent strategy will quickly outweigh its intended benefits.

To learn how VISTA’s complimentary Workforce Optimization Review can help your talent strategy succeed, request yours today. With reliable data and VISTA’s guidance, you can ensure that your hospital is primed for success.

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Topics: workforce optimization

Welcome to our blog!

At VISTA we’re dedicated to being our clients’ strategic workforce optimization partner. With our deep industry expertise and exclusive locums MSP technology, we help health systems, hospitals, practices and government entities build and sustain effective workforce models that ensure patient access to care and organizational stability. Covering more than 60 specialties, we staff physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help our clients preserve revenue and maintain profitability.